Here’s the lowdown of the top deals from the startup space.
Quona Capital closes $332M fund to invest in emerging markets
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Venture capital firm Quona Capital has closed its third fund at $332 million, which it will invest in emerging markets including India. This is the third fund from Quona Capital since its inception, bringing the firm's aggregate committed capital to over $745 million.
“With 35 percent of the global population and over 150 million small businesses, the Asia region hosts a very large proportion of the world's marginalised consumers and small businesses. The rapid digitisation of these markets -- combined with the innovative solutions developed by the companies Quona is investing in -- are bringing these consumers and small businesses into mainstream economic and financial systems," said Ganesh Rengaswamy, who leads Quona's investments in India and Southeast Asia.
Quona focuses its investments on innovative technology companies that are expanding access to financial services for underserved consumers and businesses in Latin America, India, Southeast Asia, Africa and the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.
Keka raises $57M in Series A round from WestBridge
Keka, a Hyderabad-based HR tech platform for small and medium-sized enterprises, has secured $57 million in Series A from WestBridge Capital.
As per the company, this is India's largest Series A SaaS funding. “I believe we raised funding at the right time. We have been the fastest-growing HR tech leader in our space. Although we got several offers for funding in the past, we never felt the timing was right,” said CEO Vijay Yalamanchili.
"As we advance, R&D will be our primary area of focus as we expand our engineering, product, and customer success teams,” the CEO added.
Supertails raises $10M in Series A round from Fireside and others
Petcare startup Supertails has raised $10 million in Series A funding round led by Fireside Ventures, along with existing investors Saama Capital and DSG Consumer Partners.
The round also participation from angel investors such as Kunal Shah, Varun Alagh, Sanjay Kapoor, Ankit Nagori, and Shashank Mehta.
As per the startup, the fresh capital will be used to build innovative tech products including Supertails’ mobile application, expansion of verticals such as Vet Diets and Pet Pharmacy channels, strengthen the supply chain and enhance the post-sales experience.
The company claims to have clocked an ARR of Rs 50 Crores in the last 18 months and aims to double down on its growth and expansion plans to achieve Rs 100 Crores ARR by Mar 2023.
doola gets $8M from Nexus Venture Partners and Y Combinator Continuity Fund
Doola, a firm that aids global founders to start companies in the US, has raised $8 million in funding by Nexus Venture Partners with participation from the Y Combinator Continuity Fund and more.
This new fundraise comes right after a profitable year and the launch of doola Banking — an accessible way for LLCs around the globe to bank and build credit in the US, a statement said.
“By providing adjacent financial tools designed to help emerging companies grow more efficiently, doola is the fuel these businesses need. Growing doola's team will allow us to launch new products and iterate on existing products. We let data, customer feedback, and demand drive our product innovation,” said Arjun Mahadevan, CEO, doola.
Chiratae Ventures leads $1.7M seed round in Skye Air Mobility
Drone-based startup Skye Air Mobility raised $1.7 million in its seed funding round led by Chiratae Ventures. The round also saw participation from investors like Lead Angels, O2 Angels, Agility Ventures and LetsVenture.
Several marquee names including Rajeev Chitrabhanu, Ankit Nagori, Varun Alagh, Gautam Badalia, Ayush Lohia and others, also participated.
With this investment, Skye Air said it will be aiming for faster deliveries, reducing carbon emission, reducing cost, and increasing accessibility.
"This investment comes at a time when we are intensifying our efforts to expand our services and collaborations in the Indian market. The new funding will facilitate our team to open untouched channels, allowing us to bring drone delivery services to more customers in India and beyond," Ankit Kumar, CEO of Skye Air Mobility said.
The company is currently operating in eight cities across India and plans to expand to another 16 over next 24 months.
Ulipsu raises $1.5M in funding from the UK & Middle East based angel investors
Ulipsu, a multipotential OTT like learning platform has raised $1.5 million in funding round led by angel investors based in the Middle East and the UK.
This round of investment comes as an addition to the initial $1 million Pre-Series A round funding received in October 2021. The company now has raised a total of $2.5 million in its Pre-Series A round.
The startup will use the fresh capital to improve overall product service, boost consumer engagement through strengthening the technology stack, gamification, and analytics for real-time user data evaluation, scale operations, and increase sales via new consumer acquisition initiatives, a statement said.
Alternative dairy firm Phyx44 gets $1.2M in seed funding
Phyx44, a full-stack precision fermentation dairy company, has raised $1.2 million in its seed funding round led by Better Bite Ventures to develop animal-free milk proteins and fats for use in dairy products.
The round also saw participation from Ahimsa VC, PeerCapital, Spectrum Impact, Rohit Gulati (MD & Partner at Boston Consulting Group), Sandhya Sriram (CEO, Shiok Meats) and others.
The startup will use the fresh capital to accelerate its R&D, expand the team and work on co-development of product formulation with key partners.
QubeHealth gets Pre-Series-A funding from US-based New Horizon Ventures and others
QubeHealth, an early-stage healthcare focused fintech startup has raised an undisclosed capital in Pre-Series-A funding round led by the US-based New Horizon Ventures, ThinKuvate (Singapore) and existing investor, Keiretsu Forum.
Axiomatic Ventures, Inflection Point Ventures, an existing investor, and other angel investors from India and the US, also participated in the round.
The startup intends to use the fresh funds to scale up the business and invest further in building the ‘healthcare commerce’ technical infrastructure and expanding its healthcare marketplace.
Monsoon CreditTech raises funds from investors led by HDFC Capital
Monsoon CreditTech, a Fintech startup has raised funds from a group of investors led by HDFC Capital. The company, however, did not disclose the financial details of the fundraise.
This fundraise also saw the participation of several existing and new investors including DMI Alternative Investment Fund and US-based Top Shelf Equity Partners.
Some prominent angel investors from across the globe including Vellayan Subbiah and Akash Bhanshali of the Enam Group also participated in the capital raise, Monsoon CreditTech said in a statement.
The partnership with HDFC Capital will help propel the next phase of growth for the company, Monsoon CreditTech founder CEO Ashwini Anand said. He said that the company has launched Thoth, a proprietary analytics platform, that would enable any business user with no knowledge of programming or data science to build advanced and ready-to-deploy machine learning (ML) models in just 4 to 6 hours and analyze their (model) performance on real-world data.
Singapore-based Believe backs clean beauty brand Iba Cosmetics
Believe Pte, Singapore-headquartered House of Brands, has acquired a majority stake in clean beauty and vegan brand Iba Cosmetics after investing an undisclosed capital in the company.
This strategic alliance with Believe is going to help us with distribution and scale not only within India but in international markets as well, thus ensuring that a new and much larger segment of Halal and Vegan consumers get to experience the brand”, said Mauli Teli, CEO, Iba Cosmetics
The brand is aiming to deliver a 4x growth over the next 12 months. It claims to have grown more than 100% y-o-y over the last 12 months and expects to continue that growth rate.